Iran, Kazakhstan Bolster Logistical Interactions
Kazakh national railroad company signed an agreement with the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines to establish a joint enterprise.
In addition to signing the deal in Tehran, Kanat Alpysbayev, the head of JSC Kazakhstan Temir Zholy, held bilateral meetings on transport and logistics cooperation, Kazakhstan’s national news agency Kazinform reported.
In a meeting with deputy minister of roads and urban development and general director of Islamic Republic of Iran Railways, Saeed Mohammadzadeh, on Tuesday, the two sides discussed bilateral cooperation to develop transit and transport potentials.
On December 22, 2016, during the visit of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to Kazakhstan, KTZ Express (an affiliate of the national railroad company Kazakhstan Temir Zholy) and IRISL had signed a preliminary agreement.
The joint venture is to start work in March 2017. At the initial stage, the enterprise will provide transport and logistics services.
The two sides have also agreed to jointly construct a terminal in Bandar Abbas Port by the last quarter of 2017.
Tehran and Astana are developing transport and logistics infrastructure to arrange profitable transport and logistics services for Kazakhstan, Iran, CIS countries and Caspian Sea ports along the North-South route and other prospective routes.
The new terminal in Bandar Abbas Port will increase transit and help Persian Gulf states reach the ports of India and Africa.
In 2016, rail freight transport between Iran and Kazakhstan increased by 16% compared to 2015 to stand at 2.1 million tons.
Mohammadzadeh predicted that the amount will reach 3.2 million tons in 2017.
“Iran needs 3,000 passenger and 28,000 freight cars,” he said, adding that if Kazakhstan supplies wagons to Iran through a joint venture with a local firm, IRIR will also extend support.
There is massive demand for new wagons, as Iran’s aging fleet is being renewed and several railroads are being built across the country.
Based on Iran’s 20-year Vision Plan, the existing lines should be electrified and double-tracked, and about 12,000 km of new lines are planned to nearly double the network’s size by 2025.
The Iranian government has signed several deals with companies to meet its demand for wagons. It has also allocated $2 billion to import 2,000 subway cars to develop public transport and help ease heavy traffic and severe air pollution in overcrowded urban areas.